The MCAT, the Medical College Admission Test, is generally required for all students who wish to go to some type of medical school. It tests variousl things like problem solving and critical thinking, as well as scientific knowledge and writing. The MCAT test is given entirely by computer at various sites. If you want to be a doctor, you must take the MCAT. Being prepared is the best thing you can do.
Other medical professional schools also require the MCAT test, including allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine.
Where do I get started on the MCAT?
The best place to get started on the MCAT is from the source.
The website is:
Association of American Medical Colleges
Medical College Admission Test
2450 N St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Where do I take the MCAT?
You take it mostly at Prometric testing centers, which are owned Educational Testing Service. They have numerous testing sites around the country. Remember, the entire test is taken sitting in front of a computer. When you register for the test, you will be given a choice of testing sites open and convenient to you.
What does the MCAT test include?
The MCAT has four parts Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences.
The Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences parts are multiple choice questions. The Writing Sample requires completion of two essays, typed into a computer.
Physical Sciences: Tests ability to solve problems in general chemistry and physics.
Biological Sciences: Tests organic chemistry and biological concepts.
What is taking the MCAT test like?
This information is current as of the time this page was created. It may change.
The test starts out with the Physical Sciences. You will have 70 minutes to complete 52 questions.
Verbal Reasoning is next, with 60 minutes to answer 40 questions.
You then can take a 10 minute break if you wish.
Next up is the Writing Sample. You will have to type in 2 essays. You are given 30 minutes for each one.
Another optional 10 minute break.
The last Section is the Biological Sciences. You will have 70 minutes to answer 52 questions.
How is the MCAT scored?
Most students want to know this, but in reality, because of the nature of the test, you cannot put a percentage on it. There are varying degrees of difficulty factored in. So know how it's scored may or may not be helpful.
The grading is done on a scale, not percentage. It is hard to equate a raw score to your given score.
The multiple choice parts are each graded on a scale from 1 to 15. 1 being the lowest, 15 being the highest. The highest score you can get in total for the 3 multiple choice parts is 45.
The two writing essays are scored by a computer and a human being. You can get between 1 and 6 points on each essay. Your total essay score will be made up of the 4 scores. But that's not your given score. Instead of a numerical value, your raw essay score is converted to a letter scale starting at J and going up to T. J is lowest, T is highest.
What score should I shoot for?
Hard to tell, but the average score is around 28 for the multiple choice, and P for the writing. Remember, multiple choice is worth a maximum of 45 and P for writing. The mean for 2010 is 25 for the multiple choice.
It is rumored that a more balanced, but high, score is better. That is, you want scores close together on all multiple choice parts. Something like 13, 11, 12 and not where one score is lower or higher. Like 15, 10, 11 or even 12, 12, 7.
Things to know about the MCAT
When you show up for the test, you need a valid ID card, like a drivers license.
You will have your photo taken and be finger printed.
You cannot take any personal items, food, or drinks into the testing center.
How can I prepare for the MCAT?
The best way is by doing practice exams and questions.
The MCAT website has sample test questions.
If you have a medical condition or disability, you CAN apply for accommodations!